Berkeley Lab

ATAP News, June 2023

 

Director’s Corner

Cameron Geddes

Cameron Geddes

This issue of ATAP News showcases the exciting work that our researchers are doing to advance accelerator technologies and expand their range of applications, promising breakthroughs in fundamental scientific research, materials science, medicine, and many other areas.

For example, scientists and engineers from our Superconducting Magnet Program (SMP) and colleagues from Berkeley Lab’s Engineering Division and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory have demonstrated a new superconducting magnet that could enable more powerful, energy-efficient particle accelerators. These machines could advance research in high-energy physics and fusion and enhance the capabilities of magnetic resonance imaging machines used in medical diagnosis.

Researchers at our BELLA Center have developed an innovative technique for combining fiber lasers to create laser pulses lasting only 42 femtoseconds (a millionth-billionth of a second). These ultrashort pulses—the shortest ever achieved from a fiber laser system—are needed to drive next-generation laser-plasma accelerators (LPAs) at high repetition rates and promise to push the frontiers of science.

As particle accelerators and colliders increase in complexity and sophistication, so do the tools needed to model the accelerator and beam dynamics. Researchers from our Accelerator Modeling Program are collaborating with several other national labs and colleagues from the University of California, Los Angeles, to develop advanced software tools that could help extend the capabilities of existing accelerator facilities and enable the creation of new future accelerator designs like LPAs.

Using our HiRES beamline located at the Advanced Light Source, ATAP researchers have developed a new diagnostics tool that could improve the performance of ultrafast electron diffraction (UED). A powerful technique that uses beams of electrons to probe atoms and molecules, UED promises advances in fundamental scientific research and discoveries in material science, chemistry, and biology.

SMP Research Scientist Reed Teyber and I had the opportunity to share our vision on the path forward for fusion research in an LBNL Q&A, both on the broader research community and closer to home at Berkeley Lab.

And we spotlight Project Scientist Olga Shapoval and her work on mathematical models and numerical methods for modeling plasma accelerators.

As part of our education and outreach activities, Senior Scientist and Deputy SMP head Paolo Ferracin guided students from Berkeley High School around our magnet assembly facilities, where they learned about superconducting magnets and their importance to particle accelerators and colliders.

Five researchers from the Lab taught a course at the Summer 2023 session of the US Particle Accelerator School, which took place from June 5-16, 2023, in Long Island, New York.

BELLA Center Research Scientist Lieselotte Obst-Huebl will mentor an Office of Science Graduate Student Research program scholar on an 8-month-long research project. Starting in August, the project aims to improve the models used to describe the interactions of lasers with targets.

Ina Reichel, ATAP’s Education, Outreach, & Diversity Coordinator, and Rama Kuravi from the Lab’s Engineering Division represented the Lab at the Oakland Unified School District’s inaugural OUSD STEM Fair at Oakland High School. The event attracted over 1,400 Oakland students.

And this July, the Lab will host the Science Accelerating Girls’ Engagement in STEM (SAGE). The one-week summer camp for public high school students (aged 14-17) allows participants to learn about life in STEM professions from the Lab’s scientists and engineers.

June marked the start of Pride Month—a time when we celebrate LGBTQ+ identity with love and pride and recognize the ongoing contribution that our LGBTQ+ colleagues are making to advance and support scientific breakthroughs.

This month is also Immigrant Heritage Month when we celebrate the contributions of immigrants and their descendants to our shared history and culture.

On June 19, we celebrated Juneteenth. A Federal holiday, Juneteenth is a celebration to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States and honor Black Americans’ strength, resilience, and heritage.

In May, we celebrated Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which recognizes their contributions and influence—past, present, and future—to America’s history, culture, and achievements.

May was also Mental Health Awareness Month, when we spotlight mental health and wellness issues. At our May All-to-All meeting, we learned about mental health challenges in the workplace and strategies for promoting and practicing good mental health.

And to further foster a diverse and inclusive work environment, at April’s All-to-All meeting, representatives from the Lab’s Human Resources team presented an overview of how ATAP’s recruitment process incorporates best practices when recruiting new staff.

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Written by Carl A. Williams or other authors as credited.

For more information on ATAP News articles, contact Carl A. Williams (caw@lbl.gov).